On 25 April 2017, the operator responsibilities for the Asse II mine as well as the Konrad and Morsleben repositories were transferred to the Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH, BGE). This website of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) will therefore no longer be updated and displays the status as on 24 April 2017. You will find current information at the BGE: www.bge.de

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Englischsprachiges Glossar

Commission on Radiological Protection (Strahlenschutzkommission,SSK) show / hide

According to the statute of the Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK) of 22nd December 1998 the SSK have the task to advise the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in issues relating to the protection against the danger of ionising and non-ionising radiation. In detail the tasks of SSK comprise the following: Statements and recommendations for the evaluation of biological radiation effects and on dose-effect relations, Observation of the development of radiation exposure of the total population, special population groups and occupationally exposed persons, Proposal of and advisory service relating to the elaboration of guidelines and special measures for the protection from dangers of ionising and non-ionising radiation, Advisory service relating to the elaboration of recommendations on emergency management and in the planning of measures to reduce radiation exposure in nuclear facilities.

Safety assessment show / hide

Within the scope of a safety assessment possible radiological consequences of a repository in normal operation, in the post-closure phase and in case of incidents are assessed and evaluated with the help of calculations and investigations.

safety inspectionshow / hide

Within the scope of a safety inspection, possible radiological effects of a repository in normal operation, in the post-closure phase, and in case of incidents are assessed and examined with the help of calculations and examinations.

Safety platformshow / hide

Horizontally installed gate which can seal the shaft, if necessary. This is done, among others, to secure the workers during shaft works and to control ventilation, for instance in the event of a fire.

Safety specifications show / hide

The safety specifications contain all plant regulations, that are necessary for the safety of the plant and its operation, and all information and measures required to control events and design basis accidents. The purpose of the safety specifications is to provide the plant personnel with the important data, limit values and measures necessary for the safety of the nuclear power plant and its operation including the necessary indications to safety-related basic design conditions.

saline solutionsshow / hide

Aqueous solutions with different salt concentration.

salt backfillshow / hide

Salt material the cavities of a mine are backfilled with for stabilisation.

Salt dome (salt diapir)show / hide

Salt masses ascending in weak zones of the earth’s crust and penetrating overlying strata.

Salt grit show / hide

Fine-grained salt rock material

Salt pillowshow / hide

Flat, dome-shaped salt arching.

Salt tectonicsshow / hide

Deformation processes (ascent) of evaporites resulting from the difference in density compared with the cap rock and adjoining rock.

Sample manipulatorshow / hide

A device of similar construction to a gantry crane, which measures the surface contamination with alpha and beta rays using wipes.

Scale show / hide

Deposits in pipelines are called scales. For instance, in geothermal facilities this term is used as well for fouling at heat exchangers.

Scaling worksshow / hide

Removal of loose pieces of rocks in the mine’s galleries and chambers. Scaling is routine work serving the maintenance of safety. Scaling is, e. g., regularly carried out at the roofs. The machines used for scaling are termed roof milling tools.

Scanner testshow / hide

During the waste container check on arrival, a scanner checks the container data against the stored data.

Scintigraphy show / hide

Imaging diagnosis method, where radioactive substances (drugs) are brought into the body of the patient. This nuclear-medical examination provides statements on the function of different organ systems with regard to general disorders of the metabolism and to locally described foci in single organs.

sealshow / hide

Separation of mine openings from the residual mine openings with special types of construction.

seismicsshow / hide

Method in applied geophysics: Artificially generated acoustic waves produce an echo of the different rock layers of the underground. The reflected echo signals are registered at the surface with the help of geophones.
In the ideal case the interpretation of results provides a detailed image of the underground below the measured surface.

Shaft stationshow / hide

Underground loading station where ore or debris is brought or loaded for transfer above ground.

Sheet pile wallshow / hide

A sheet pile wall consists of single profiles that are connected to each other and put into the ground in order to secure construction pits and to prevent the soil from slipping.

Shieldingshow / hide

Device surrounding a source of ionising radiation in order to protect the surrounding area from this radiation.

Shuntershow / hide

Rail-borne vehicle, similar to a locomotive.

Sievertshow / hide

The Sievert (Sv) is the unit (SI-unit) of dose equivalent and effective dose. In general, fractions of the unit of dose are used in radiation protection practice: 1 Sievert = 1 000 millisieverts (mSv) = 1 000 000 microsieverts (µSv) = 1 000 000 000 nanosieverts (nSv).

Dose is often related to a period of time, i.e. per year (mSv/a) or per hour (mSv/h).

Significance show / hide

One talks about statistical significance if the observation of a population group clearly deviates from the expected value. To be able to evaluate this statistical methods are applied which compare the number of diseases observed in an examined population group with the number of the cases expected in this group, if the diseases in the observed group occurred with equal frequency - referred to the considered number of persons - as in the comparison group. As these are random samples, one cannot just say these are more or less, but for this statement one has to state an error probability. It has been agreed that a deviation between observed and expected case numbers is considered to be significant if this error probability is less than 5 %.

Sinking show / hide

Sinking means vertical working into the rock with different procedures, such as e. g. drilling and blasting work. A shaft is sunk.

SI-units show / hide

Units of the International System of Units (SI). The application of the units in radiation protection measurements is regulated by the Ausführungsverordnung zum Gesetz über Einheiten im Messwesen of 13th December 1985 (BGBl. I p. 2272).

Skin-effect show / hide

Physical phenomenon: suppression of the alternating current to the surface of the conductor with increasing frequency

Slinger stowing vehicleshow / hide

Mine vehicle used to backfill cavities in a mine. The backfill material (broken rocks) is thrown into the chamber or gallery via a conveyor belt (slinger stowing).

Slurry backfillshow / hide

The debris gained during mining operations serves as backfill material; it is processed into a viscous pulp which hardens later on. This mass reduces the cavities resulting from mining or that are still open after radioactive waste has been emplaced.

solution registershow / hide

Data base where all locations with influent or other saline solutions of the Asse II mine are registered and documented. This may be locations where solutions drip, where it is moist, swamps, or drillings etc.

Sorel concreteshow / hide

Sorel concrete is a special type of mining concrete consisting of magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride solution, and rock salt.

Sorptionshow / hide

Taking up of a gase or dissolved substance by another solid or liquid substance.

Source termshow / hide

Mathematical function describing the release of radioactive materials (e.g. from waste product, waste package, emplacement chamber, repository).

Spallationshow / hide

Nuclear transformation in the process of which a high-energy particle from the hit atomic nucleus knocks out numerous single particles (protons, neutrons).

Specific absorption rateshow / hide

The specific absorption rate (SAR) describes the energy taken up by the body in the high-frequency field per kilogram body weight in a certain time and which is mainly transformed into heat, its measure is Watt per kilogram (W/kg). The SAR is averaged over 6 minutes time of affect, then a balance has formed through heat regulation of the body between heat input and heat output. Prior to this the increase in body temperature is only determined by the energy taken up. By averaging over different mass areas it is differentiated between affects on the whole body and affects on smaller tissue areas. For example, when averaging over 10 g of body tissue (which corresponds to the mass of the eye) the inhomogeneous energy distribution in the near field area of antennae is taken into account (e. g. when using mobile phones).

spiral galleryshow / hide

Gallery driven in the mine which connects the different levels (“floors”) (in the Asse mine from 490 m to 975 m).

Stacking truckshow / hide

Vehicle to transport the transport units from the unloading chamber to the storage site and to place the storage unit in its storage place.

Stakeholders show / hide

Part of the population who are organised as a group and who represent their joint interests

Standardised Incidence Ratio/Standardised Mortality Ratio, SIR/SMR show / hide

The ratio between the probability of falling ill in a cohort and in a comparison group (mostly the total population).

  • With an SIR/SMR of 1 there is no difference between the two groups.
  • With SIR/SMR less than 1 the risk in the cohort is smaller, with SIR/SMR higher than 1 larger than in the comparison population.

By means of a significance test it can be checked how statistically significant this difference is.

Stochastic radiation damageshow / hide

Of a random nature. Radiation effects are referred to as "stochastic" when the probability of a damage resulting from radiation increases with increments of dose, whereas the severity of damage is not affected by the dose. Cancer and leukaemia are examples for stochastic damage.

Storage chambershow / hide

Mine workings specifically driven to house radioactive waste, with a cross section of e.g. 40 sq m.

Storage galleryshow / hide

Horizontal drift for the purpose of storage.

Storage siteshow / hide

Location of the storage zones.

Storage zoneshow / hide

Several storage chambers (underground mine workings for the permanent storage of radioactive waste) form a storage zone.

stowageshow / hide

Material the cavities of a mine are backfilled with for stabilisation.

Stowing wallshow / hide

Stone walls to fill in or reduce any open spaces still remaining after the storage of radioactive waste is complete.

Stratigraphyshow / hide

Science of the sequence of strata and formations and their age specification.

Study populations show / hide

Random sample of a basic collectivity of persons at whom the investigation is carried out.

Submersionshow / hide

Effect of ionising radiation to the human organism from a source dispersed in the air over large areas.

Subrosion show / hide

Dissolving (leaching off) occurring under the earth's surface of deasily dissolvable rocks, in particular salts, through groundwater. Such underground leaching off can result in a sinking of the overlying rock section so that a depression forms at the earth's surface (subrosion depression).

support archshow / hide

Support element consisting of several steel elements for the stabilisation of galleries.

Surface contaminationshow / hide

Contamination by radioactive substances on the surface of a material.

swampshow / hide

Depression below the gallery level where liquid concentrates.

Synapsis show / hide

Joint of two nerve cells serving to transfer impulses.

Syngeneticshow / hide

Formed at the same time as its surroundings.

© Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz